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The Carolina Hurricanes went up 2-0 in their first round series against the New York Rangers last night, earning a shutout win in Game 2 on home ice.
It was a relatively low-event first period, with the Hurricanes outshooting the Rangers 8-5. While Carolina did lead in shots, it felt as though New York had just as many if not more quality chances but just couldn’t convert and the game remained scoreless through 20 minutes.
There really weren’t a ton of great chances given up in the second period either, with the teams playing pretty tight defensively. However, with just over four minutes to go in the period, Carolina ended up with a 2-on-1 and Sebastian Aho put a great pass right to Brendan Smith, who scored to finally open the scoring.
The Hurricanes did a great job limiting chances after that and allowed just eight shots against in the frame. New York tried to press late but couldn’t get a ton going and with under two seconds to go, Sebastian Aho iced the game with an empty net goal.
For two teams with pretty high-powered offense, it was a defensive battle last night. Very few really strong chances were exchanged throughout the game and the shots landed at just 22-21 for Carolina.
That said, the Hurricanes will take that over Game 1, where they were completely outplayed through 40 minutes and had to battle their way back in the third period. Last night was a much more complete effort and once again, special teams was a non factor.
It’s the second series in a row in which the Hurricanes have taken the first two games at home, now sitting at a 6-0 record this postseason while playing in Raleigh. That said, it would obviously be huge if Carolina could take at least one of the next two games in New York, so they don’t need to rely quite as much on home ice advantage.
Regardless, it’s a great start to the second round – Game 3 takes place on Sunday.
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